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California girl is rare survivor of rabies without receiving vaccine

June 13, 2011 |  7:39 am

Dr. Jean Wiedeman and Precious Reynolds at UC Davis hospital. An 8-year-old California girl has beaten the odds in a rare case of a patient who survived rabies without receiving the vaccine.

UC Davis Children's Hospital announced Sunday that Precious Reynolds is the only the third known case of survival from rabies without being treated with the vaccine.

Hospital officials said in a statement that doctors believe she got rabies from a feral cat. She didn't get the usual round of vaccine shots because doctors were not sure when she was infected.

Officials said in a statement that they treated the girl in coordination with state medical officials and the Centers for Disease Control.

"From the very beginning, Precious had a very rapid, robust immune response to her infection, which is a significant contributor to why she survived," Dr. Jean Wiedeman of UC Davis said in the statement. "She is truly a fighter."


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Photo: Dr. Jean Wiedeman and Precious Reynolds at UC Davis hospital. Credit: UC Davis